Rick's Rap - April 2004
Well Saturday we had what I hope is the last of the auditions for a new drummer.
We started out with two candidates scheduled to show up at 12:30 and 1:30. By about ten minutes after one, we figured the first guy was a no show. At about ten minutes to two, we were thinkin' we had two consequtive no shows, but the 1:30 guy showed up then.
We stuck to our mostly conventional material, none of the really spacey stuff. He was a solid drummer, and he didn't have any problems keeping us all together, and keeping the songs drivin'. The only down side is he wasn't really familiar with the dead and their, as Doc put it, "deceptively simple rhythms".
Just as we were tearing down, the first guy showed up. He was under the impression that he was scheduled for 2:30, not 12:30. Normally we would have just worked him in then, but Lukas had a previous committment and had to split, and I didn't want to audition another drummer without his input.
This left us to choose between the two drummers from last weekend. They have different styles, but equivalent talent, attitude, and perceived normalcy, and they were both sufficiently satisfied with us to be willing to give this thing a shot. So of course, given our well established penchant for hewing steadfastly to hard headed realism, we kind of drifted into, "Hey guys, wouldn't it be cool to have 2 drummers!" I think their styles would have complemented each other as well as well as Kreutzman's and Hart's styles do, and would have been a great inspiration for the rest of us.
Fortunately for us, Lukas didn't have time stick around, so we didn't have time to indulge ourselves in our little fantasy trip. There was no way to make a logical decision, so we came to quick concensus of gut feelings, and made a choice. I emailed him to see if he was still willing to go for it, and he replied in the affirmative.
We Have A Drummer!
His name is Steve, he also works with Liquid Lobster (I've added them to our links page). Now we need some new pictures.
A while back, my wife suggested that what I've been calling the Acoustic Trio, should more appropriatley be referred to as Rock Creek Unpluged. It's kind of grown on me, and at least for now I'm doing it. We're currently about 4 songs shy of having 2 sets worth of material. We're continuing on with open mics at College Perk, and when we start getting close to having 4 sets worth of material, we're going to have to make up a demo and start looking for work. The acoustic PA has stopped buzzing for a while whenever it's first turned on, and I don't think it makes any sense to send it back for service until it's definitely, and consistently, broke.
Tomorrow we're going to hit the open mic at College Perk again.
The last thing we did last Saturday was lay out a game plan for the immediate future (I recollect we also tended to drift a bit far afield in terms of what some of us believe we should be doing, fortunately not for long, and not vehemently). Our immediate goal is to integrate Steve into our sound, and simultaneously learn some new material.
What we think will have a good chance of accomplishing this for us, is to begin rehearsing every other weekend. Next Sunday is Easter, and people have real life plans, so we're going to kick things off beginning Sunday, April 18. We'll start each rehearsal by going over the current playlist, starting at the top and working our way down. We'll end each session by working on new material.
Persuent to this, I've set up a schedule for the next 5 rehearsals. I don't think it's terribly ambitious, but perhaps that'll mean we actually have a chance of sticking moderately close to it. If we do, we'll wind up with 8 full sets on our current playlist.
I'm hoping everyone will check the schedule and let me know about any problems in time to modify it appropriately so that it doen't turn out to be just another exercise in crisis management. I'm also hopeful that everyone will show up at the rehearsals prepared to cover the same material as everyone else. While I'm at it, I'd also like to hit the lottery. Not one of the mega jackpots, mind you, just something comfortable.
Before I went to College Perk last night, my wife and I went out to dinner. I imbibed a bit, and when I showed up for the open mic, I wasn't feeling a whole lot of pain. Under normal circumstances I have a fondness for non sequiturs and stupid humor (which I like to think of as dry wit, but which is probably closer to half wit), and last night I believe I was in full bloom.
I vaguely recall mumbling into the mic before we started. I believe I introduced us as "Right Circular Shift", and then babbled for a while, trying to make sense out of that. When I was introducing Gomorrah, I'm pretty sure I said something along the lines of, "The title of this next song reminds me of a venereal disease".
Fortunately I have a high tolerance for embarrassment.
We did Glendale Train, Gomorrah, and Big Railroad Blues. We didn't seem to hit a groove on any of them, but they weren't bad.
At some point Bob mentioned that we should start hitting some other open mics. I said that in the only two other open mic nights that I've checked out, the guy running it does his own shtick until about 9:30 or 10:00 before anybody else gets a shot. We decided that College Perk will probably do nicely for a while.
On Wednesday, the 14th, I drove over to Steve's house to chat for a while. He's a real savvy guy, and I believe he's going to be a big asset to us in a number of areas beyond just what he'll add musically. I get the feeling that with Doc's departure we've pretty much ended our initial start up phase, and now we're settling in for the long haul.
On the 18th we had our first rehearsal with Steve. Barb came over and took new photos for the demo, Maryland Party, and for our meet the band page. We've just posted the new pics, and Steve's bio. After the pictures we a band meeting where we talked about all kinds of nifty stuff, and agreed in principle to a number of vague things in respect to making a new demo, and doing promos and booking.
Amidst all this we found a little time to do some playing too. We went through the 1st 12 tunes in the play list, and added Glendale Train. We started working on Scarlett Begonnias, but it was rough going, I think we were getting to be a little overloaded, or burnt out, or ragged, or something.
Steve mentioned that one of the scheduled practices is during the Memorial Day weekend. I was gratified to see that somebody actually reads the stuff I post. We'll probably rehearse the weekend before, or the weekend after (or maybe just skip it), we haven't come to a concensus on that yet.
Bob wasn't able to make acoustic practice the previous Thursday, and he wasn't going to be able to make it the next Thursday, so he suggested the next weekend. Lukas said he could make it on Sunday. I checked my schedule and I only had Saturday available. Bob and I got together with Mark on Saturday (yesterday), and we were pretty enthused with the possibilities. Unfortunately Bob can't make it next week, so we'll skip another week and see if we can all get together then.